MATCH REPORT: Birmingham 1 v Newcastle United 1, St Andrews, 7/Jan/17, KO: 3pm, FAC, Att: 13,171

by • January 7, 2017 • Match reportsComments (9)2643

United find themselves in the fourth round draw for the first time in five years after a poor game at an empty St Andrews.Phoenixlogo

Rafa rung the changes as there were starts for Sels, Hanley, Yedlin, Haidara, Lazaar, Tiote, Murphy and Mitrovic. Hell froze over and Rafa Benitez played 4 4 2 due to Perez’s training ground injury. We lined up with Anita on the right wing ahead of Yedlin, and Lazaar on the left ahead of Haidara in an attaching/defensive move whichever way you want to look at it. Tiote and Colback lined up together in the middle.

St Andrews wasn’t even half full as United brought 4,600 fans down to the midlands. As a result the game was played out murphy1in a funeral like atmosphere as there were so few home fans present (much like the games at Blackburn and Wigan) that they away end barely raised a noise today. Perhaps a mixture of no home support and a feeling that a cup run (and certainly a replay) was against the clubs best interests.

Anyway United started like a house on fire and forced the game from the off. Lazaar and Haidara transformed our left side and caused Birmingham trouble from the off. Lazaar won a free kick after some great work which he delivered himself. We almost scored immediately and then did so from the resultant corner. I don’t really know what happened as but there was an almighty scramble and Daryl Murphy was there to stab the ball home. Five minutes in, belting start.

I know it was only five minutes of play but the left side had looked really good. Murphy and Mitrovic seemed to be playing well together and linking well. The Birmingham defenders weren’t sure how to combat them. During the goal Mitrovic was injured, down for around 4 minutes and then stretchered off whilst being provided with oxygen. I presumed his season was over with a bad knee injury but listening to Rafa post game it appears it’s just a deep cut. So he won’t be out too long.

It was a massive shame that the whole game plan had to be torn up. It was working and we were all over Birmingham. Goufrann came on and we appeared to go to a 5-3-2 formation or a 5-4-1. Haidara tucked inside to become a third CB and Lazaar moved to LB.

United continue to dominate and the ball fell to Goufrann in the box and he dragged his shot wide. Hanley then headed TF Mini Ads .inddover from six yards before Goufrann rounded the keeper but didn’t back himself against the angle and hesitated instead of shooting. He should have done far better and Hanley should have scored. The game should have been finished after half an hour and United safely in the next round. Also I should have been at Brentford next Monday night. Lots of things that should have happened didn’t.

After somehow still finding themselves in the game the home side dominated the ten minute period before half time and were unlucky not to go in ahead. An equaliser came after the dreadful referee allowed a feee kick (which should have gone our way) to be taken quickly ten yards from where the alleged foul took place. Jutkiewicz swept home from the cross that followed for the equaliser. Soon after Matt Sels hesitated when he looked we’ll place to get to a ball and the home side hit the bar. It was another poor afternoon for our Belgian keeper, flapping at balls under no pressure. He seems surprised when defenders pass the ball back to him and doesn’t speak to his defenders. At the end of the game he came to meet a bouncing ball and spilled the simple catch, much to the frustration of his team mates. A loan spell sounds like a good idea with Rob Elliot returning to fitness.

The second half passed without incident, the referee doing his best to ruin any kind of game of football by stopping the game endlessly. United failed to create an opening as the improvised formation started to creak. Daryl Murphy tired after a bright start and Tiote’s first start of the season saw him look incredibly rusty (shit) which was to be expected. Oh for Shelvey not to do what he did. Idiot. The Birmingham goal scorer could have won the game twice late on with two free headers but failed to test Matt Sels on either occasion.

Matt Ritchie and Hayden were introduced late on and couldn’t change the disjointed flow of the game. Laughably the one late chance United had on the counter was ruined as the referee decided to pull play back and award us a free kick. Pathetic decision. It was the result no one wanted and we’ll do this again a week Wednesday at SJP. If I was Rafa I’d have brought Gayle on for Mitrovic and Ritchie on sooner, to try and avoid the replay. The game against Brentford has now been moved to Saturday 3pm, so I can’t go. Frustrating. We need to get back to winning ways in the league. Brentford will precede four home games in a row; Birmingham, Rotherham, QPR and then Derby. A great chance to get on another good run.

Not much to be taken from today. I’m pleased Murphy got a goal and Haidara got a run out. We badly need competition for the left side as Dummet and Goufrann have done well, but shouldn’t be automatic picks as they have been. Shelvey will be back for the return game and hopefully sensible pricing will entice another decent crowd to SJP.

MoTM: Lascelles – solid throughout

Their fans – 3 – some noise in the second half but a pathetic turn out.

Our fans – 6 – good numbers but what’s the point in numbers when the game is played in silence bar the very start and very end of the game. Boo’s at the end from attention seekers. Entitled ****s.

ALEX HURST – Follow Alex on @tfalex1892 


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9 Responses to MATCH REPORT: Birmingham 1 v Newcastle United 1, St Andrews, 7/Jan/17, KO: 3pm, FAC, Att: 13,171

  1. Lintonlad says:

    I was at the match in with the home fans so I have a couple of comments:
    1. Toon support was fantastic – I thought you were singing and making a noise throughout the game.
    2. The ref was a “homer” – he allowed most of the Brum foul challenges to go unpunished. Late in the game there was an obvious handball on the edge of the Brum box which had the home fans laughing – I heard comments like “Harlem Globetrotters” but it went unpunished.
    3. Our CBs won far too few headers. Their striker was a big lad but he was unchallenged too often.
    4. Without Shelvey and Ritchie in midfield we are devoid of creation. With them we can dominate possession, we couldn’t yesterday and Brum worked that out after twenty minutes.

  2. graeme robson says:

    The noise mus’nt have travelled along to block 1 where i was then , it was more or less silent apart from telling the locals ‘Birminghams a shit hole., i want to go home’ and then in the next breathe singing that we wanted to ‘stay here and drink all their beer’ !!! We also seem to have an unhealthy obsession with empty seats at away grounds, we like to remind them at least every 5 minutes or so. I always thought the point of going to away grounds is to support nufc not to become obsessed with the home fans lack of attendance.10 out of 10 for the amount that travelled but I’m sorry (and i hate saying it ) but 6 is way too high for the ”support’ we gave the lads. While I’m on a bit of a rant, I thought the singing of the Darlow song was pathetic and embarrassing, again, are we not there to support?
    As for the booing, dont get me started.

  3. Midland Nic says:

    I stopped going to SJP for quite some time now (since MA instilled the apathy into my ilk) and only go to away games. I am based in Nottingham so Brum away is a nice short hop for me and my boy, my pals and their lads. I am a man of a certain vintage but have to say after being in amongst quite a few 20-somethings today I really don’t know what the fuck is happening to my club. I have a number of points I need to get off my chest so please bare with me…..firstly lets start with the cart horse of a Serb (only my opinion of course and obviously in the minority)….’Mitro’s On Fire’….when was this exactly??? The young ‘un’s seem obsessed with this kid and I simply can’t understand it….never seen anything of the kid other than him running around like a headless chicken (for only 20 mins or so until he becomes too fucked to move) flying recklessly into challenges…no hatricks…not good in the air….shit distribution…and poor positional play – however I am impressed with his passion for the B & W cause but if Rafa gets rid of him tomorrow I for one would be very pleased. The 20-somethings around us yesterday were berating Murphy for a lot of the match….I would suggest the Serb takes a look at how the Irishman led the line yesterday and takes on board several pointers. The lad did well (with shit service), trust me. We played yesterday without a midfield at all – so much so that after our back 3 knocked it about between themselves for a dozen passes or so the only option for them was to by pass them completely and punt the ball to Murphy hoping he could get a flick on for the runner (Gouf/whoever) that invariably wasn’t there.

    Lads around us were shouting how siht we were(!) most of the second half – what do they expect???? – we’ve been struggling for form as a team for the last 8 games or so and Rafa felt it pertinent to make 8 changes – with our game plan hamstrung within 4 minutes what do they think was going to happen??? Lads, before you have your 4 cans of Italian lager and a little sniff of Columbian marching powder do a little research into our beautiful game please.

    Next thing that I find embarrassing is the ‘I want to go home…..Birmingham’s (insert wherever we are around the UK here) a shit hole….’ song….really lads…your talking about the country’s second city for fucks sake….I’m born and bred Wallsend and I couldn’t be more proud of the fact but come on for fuck’s sake shake of the parochial overcoat please lads.

    What the fuck was the Karl Darlow song all about directed at Matt Sels???? That’s really going to give a kid, struggling like fuck with confidence, a real boost isn’t it???

    WHAT SOME PEOPLE NEED TO UNDERSTAND IS THAT SUPPORTING NUFC IS UNCONDITIONAL – SUPPORT IS WHY WE ALL WERE IN THE AWAY END ON SATURDAY – if you want to get on the boys backs, boo players, and generally belly ache at the 11 lads on the pitch then if that’s how it’s going to be then I’m afraid this middle aged mag will be hanging up his scarf until things change considerably.

    DON’T YOU LOT REALISE WE ARE THE LUCKIEST SUPPORTERS IN THE COUNTRY – OUR BASKET CASE OF OF CLUB HAS RAFA FUCKING BENITEZ AS MANAGER FOR FUCK SAKE – DON’T YOU REALISE WHAT THAT MEANS???? Lets hope cunty behaviour that is creeping into our support, in time, doesn’t force the best thing that has happened to our club in decades, out the door.

  4. Wormickey says:

    Fuckin well said, midland mic. With you all the way. But the world is changing isn’t it. I wonder what the ‘ old codgers’ from the 50s thought of us in the 70s when we’d shout Rangers Celtic and start a fight from nothing. Or when we went on the pitch v forest. If there had been a fanzine then what would they have been saying?

    • Midland Nic says:

      I know I’m turning into my dad but please….this is the club we love and we have Rafa as our manager….should all be pulling in the direction this European legend is guiding us

  5. Peter Shearer says:

    I think maybe we all look back through our nostalgic eyes and think our support was better in the old days. There may be reasons why it was and certainly the world and the people in it have changed. I guess we will all have our opinions, but even before my own Ashley boycott, I would suggest only the Sunderland and Man Utd games really had an atmosphere at home games. Occasionally, like the last game of the season when we had to beat West Ham to stay up, the crowd responded, but really these were few and far between. My own favourite memory re our support is the Cardiff semi-final against Man Utd when pre-match it all felt like finally it was our time and the support throughout was superb.

    Re Mitro, I don’t think he is as outstanding as some do, but neither do I think he is poor. If he was given a run in the side in this league I am pretty sure he would do ok. But it does look like Rafa does not see him as the answer, and we may see him depart.

  6. Jarra mick says:

    I don’t know what it was like being there but all you could hear on the wireless was the toon army in full voice.

  7. Andrew Thompson says:

    I’ve been supporting Newcastle for best part of 35 years and in all that time we’ve always had certain players singled out for abuse. Wayne Fereday/George Reilly/Kevin Brock/ Kevin Scott/Warren Barton/Mike Hooper to name just a few but there’s been many more. It’s always happened but for some reason people seem to get their knickers in a twist about it more these days. Suppose back then there was no Internet, so no social media or websites like this but for me it’s always been part of the game.

    Agree about the atmosphere problem. SJP has been dead for years but the malaise seems to be spreading to the away support this season.